Participants acknowledged that relying on political and economic leaders to lead was a fruitless endeavor because they have forgotten the people they are supposed to represent. A "we have to do it ourselves" attitude permeated the conference in a recognition that representative democracy is in serious decline. Besides, they said, societal change usually occurs at the grassroots level--and rigid social class distinctions and hierarchies have no place in the new economy we are envisioning.
Van Jones called [reinventing the American Dream] a moral challenge akin to those posed by Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela, whose messages conveyed that we need the wisdom of all people to solve our problems. That would include the wealthiest one percent along with the 99 percent.
Instead of placing faith in the "economic experts," these currency projects are built on faith in community and the creation of real wealth. When carefully designed, they can be a source of community empowerment, prioritizing caring relationships and community values ahead of profit as well as and generating meaningful employment at local businesses.
"When you're on a plane and it's going down, the last thing you should be concerned with is your seat location or the food selection," [Polk County Republican Chairman] McLaughlin said ... discussing the importance of candidates keeping the national debate focused squarely on the economy, as opposed to social issues such as same-sex marriage or abortion.
There was no doubt in my mind that if I had been the party who owed the bank that penny, there would have been no talk of a write-off. And that had I refused to bear the costs of sending them a check in the amount of one cent, interest would have been charged. And that had I still refused to pay that one cent plus interest, it would have gone to a collection agency. And that over that small stakeout of principle -- not principal -- my credit would have been ruined. But not theirs.